Twin giant panda cubs Xiao Xiao (R) and Lei Lei, who are learning to live separately from their mother Shin Shin, are pictured together at Tokyo's Ueno Zoological Gardens on March 22, 2023. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

The following is the latest list of selected news summaries by Kyodo News.


Toshiba OKs Japan Industrial Partners-led consortium buyout: sources

TOKYO - Toshiba Corp. has agreed to accept a buyout offer from a consortium led by Tokyo-based fund Japan Industrial Partners Inc., in a deal expected to be worth about 2 trillion yen ($15 billion), sources familiar with the matter said Thursday.

The JIP-led group is expected to launch a tender offer to buy Toshiba shares from existing shareholders and delist the struggling conglomerate. It also plans to relist Toshiba after a turnaround, the sources said.


Official campaigning for nationwide local elections begins in Japan

TOKYO - Official campaigning for quadrennial unified local elections started across Japan on Thursday, with the results likely to determine whether Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will decide to dissolve the lower house for a snap general election amid sluggish support ratings.

Incumbents and newcomers filed their candidacies for gubernatorial elections in nine prefectures, scheduled for April 9, as part of the first round of a series of local elections.


Baseball: Samurai Japan returns home to heroes' welcome after WBC win

TOKYO - Samurai Japan received a rapturous welcome home from around 1,200 fans at Narita airport near Tokyo on Thursday after capturing the country's third World Baseball Classic title.

Shohei Ohtani struck out his Los Angeles Angels teammate Mike Trout to seal a thrilling 3-2 win against the United States in Tuesday's final in Miami, replicating Japan's success from the 2006 and 2009 tournaments.


Japan orders ex-lawmaker online personality GaaSyy to return passport

TOKYO - Japan's Foreign Ministry on Thursday ordered a popular online personality and former lawmaker, currently residing overseas and known as GaaSyy, to return his passport after police obtained an arrest warrant for him over celebrity defamation threat allegations.

Tokyo police plan to put the 51-year-old, whose real name is Yoshikazu Higashitani, on an international wanted list through the International Criminal Police Organization, or Interpol, according to investigative sources.


Japan eases chipmaking material export curbs on S. Korea

TOKYO - Japan on Thursday eased export controls of chipmaking materials on South Korea in response to Seoul's decision to retract its complaint with the World Trade Organization over the matter, the industry ministry said.

The move came as Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and South Korea President Yoon Suk Yeol held talks last week in Tokyo, in the latest sign of improving bilateral ties.


ANA to resume Tokyo Haneda-Beijing route after 3-yr hiatus

TOKYO - ANA Holdings Inc. said Thursday it will resume flights to Beijing and Shanghai from Tokyo's Haneda airport in April after a hiatus of about three years, betting on increased travel demand between the two countries after Japan eased its COVID-19 border controls.

The Japanese airline will operate a daily roundtrip flight between the two capitals from April 1, except for April 3 and 6. Flights to Shanghai Pudong International Airport and Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport will also resume from April 1, with a daily roundtrip flight planned for each route.


Japan, South Korea ministers vow close cooperation on North Korea issue

TOKYO - Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi and South Korean Unification Minister Kwon Young Se agreed Thursday to work closely in dealing with North Korea's missile and nuclear threats, the government said.

During their talks in Tokyo, Hayashi and Kwon, who is the first South Korean unification minister to visit Japan since 2005, shared the view that the North's repeated missile tests are "serious and imminent threats" to regional security.


Figure skating: Riku Miura, Ryuichi Kihara become Japan's 1st pairs world champs

SAITAMA, Japan - Riku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara won Japan's maiden pairs figure skating world championship Thursday, coming a close second in the free skate a day after topping the short program at Saitama Super Arena near Tokyo.

Miura and Kihara scored 141.44 in the free skate for a 222.16 total, finishing 4.68 ahead of American rivals Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier on the second day of the ISU World Figure Skating Championships. Italy's Sara Conti and Niccolo Macii took bronze with 208.08.


Video: Twin giant pandas at Ueno zoo